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Beyond the Couch Ep 29: Asian Female Entrepreneurship within the Mental Health Field with Nisha Desai & Alice Zhang

This week, Christie chats with Nisha Desai and Alice Zhang about founding a startup focused on providing culturally responsive mental health care to communities of color. As two Asian-identified female co-founders, they talk about their own struggles with perfectionism, overcoming cultural differences in their communication, and navigating a white male dominated industry, as well as offer advice for other entrepreneurs.

Nisha Desai (she/her) is co-founder of Anise Health and is passionate about breaking the stigma around mental health in communities of color. Prior to Anise, Nisha built digital mental health applications for Humana as a Product Manager and spent 5 years in healthcare financial services, investing in behavioral health and innovative care delivery models. Connect with Nisha at

Alice Zhang (she/her) is co-founder of Anise Health, a certified health and wellness coach, and she is eager to address the inequality and lack of cultural relevance in mental health interventions through her professional career. Previously, Alice worked across various roles in healthcare including product development at Galileo, a digital primary care startup, investing at Unison Capital, a Japan-focused private equity fund, and management consulting at L.E.K. Consulting. Connect with Alice at

From Anise:

Anise Health (@anise_health) is officially live in California, offering a holistic suite of culturally-responsive digital mental health services (i.e. therapy, coaching, alternative medicine, self-service tools, etc.), for Asian-identifying adults and/or partners (18+). No matter how big or small your concerns are, we encourage you to sign up for Anise by taking 5 minutes to fill out this intake form – we’ll be in touch with next steps within 48 hours!

Also, sign up for our email distribution list on our website so that you can be the first to know about upcoming launches in NY and MA and stay updated on our progress.

Listen to a sneak peek below, and find the full episodes on Apple PodcastsSpotify, Google Podcasts & more!